Having all suffered through the global travel lockdown this past spring, the scariest thought now is a reentry into pandemic conditions due to a second wave of the coronavirus. We’re already seeing this pattern emerge in states like Arizona, Florida and Texas, and with the virus still very active in many other countries, every hotel needs to do its part to prevent a localized COVID-19 resurgence.
More so than that, it’s a matter of reputation management, preventing personal lawsuits and safeguarding your room revenues by keeping properties open. Mitigating risk in today’s environment means that you need monitoring technology to straightforwardly prove via thorough and agnostic documentation that your entire team was compliant with the latest viral safety guidelines.
Now with months of data on its transmission, we know that many cases related to any Covid outbreak can be traced back to ‘super-spreader events’. You simply cannot let these happen at your hotel because, as previously alluded to, the media will drive your company name into the ground if you do end up playing host to such an event. And such a reputational quagmire could long outlast the pandemic. Next, as litigious as the United States is, you can bet that if your hotel is cited as negligently facilitating spread, you will be facing a lawsuit.
Four Hoteliers Share How New Technology Solutions are Helping Them Meet New Guest Requirements
As the hospitality industry realigns to new guest requirements it begins the process of reopening hotels across the U.S. While each of their situations are unique, hoteliers are navigating similar economic and environmental challenges. Now is the time for hotel operators to learn from one another while formulating and sticking to a selection of best practices to ensure guests feel as confident checking in now as they did one year ago. To take the pulse of the industry, I spoke with four hoteliers to better understand their reopening plans.
The Gale South Beach aspires to open its doors to the public on October 16th. While shut down, General Manager Kevin Waldstein like many others saw an opportunity to improve the property through technology investments, including the adoption of an e-mist sanitizing machine to spread disinfecting material throughout the hotel.
Advantage Reserve Partners with Kennedy Training Network to Optimize Hotel Reservations Sales
Advantage Reserve, the leading provider of high-quality central reservations services to the hospitality industry, has announced the launch of a new sales training partnership with Kennedy Training Network (KTN), the lodging industry’s best source for hotel training programs. This collaboration will enhance the guest experience, improve performance levels, and increase reservations conversions for Advantage Reserve’s diverse customer base of luxury hotels and resorts.
During this unique period across the world in 2020, the hospitality industry faces a crucial time for reservations sales, and the voice channel will be more important than ever. Voice agents will be getting a range of questions — from wanting the most updated information about properties to wanting reassurances from agents for travel-related concerns.
Infor Unveils New Suite of Contactless Applications for Hotels and Resorts to Address the Need for Social Distancing
Infor, a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, has announced a fully contactless suite of applications for the hospitality industry, specifically designed for hotels and resorts, casinos and gaming, restaurants and food services, and event sales and table reservations. With guest and hotel staff safety in mind, Infor Hospitality Cloud Solutions are designed to address hotel operational needs for social distancing and contactless processes – including mobile check-in/check-out, digital keys, and the ability to order room service via one’s own device.
PayJunction Unveils Contactless Payment Processing Technology to Help Hoteliers (and Others) Address Health Mandates
Payment processing technology solution provider PayJunction has launched the first cloud-controlled and completely contactless payment solution to help hoteliers and other businesses reduce potential exposure to the virus for staff and customers.
For hotels and other businesses that allow customers inside, the PayJunction ZeroTouch Terminal has been designed to meet and exceed all current health mandates for contactless payments to avoid virus exposure. The ZeroTouch Terminal is customer-facing and is controlled by a web browser so it can be positioned outside of a sneeze guard, thereby maintaining social distance for any staff-customer interactions. In addition, signatures are not required; physical exchange is eliminated and receipts can be delivered electronically.
Cendyn Joins Forces with DerbySoft to Empower Hoteliers with AI-Enabled Metasearch Advertising
Hotel CRM, digital marketing, sales, and revenue strategy provider Cendyn has partnered with DerbySoft, a distribution and digital marketing services platform focused across the hospitality sector. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with the means to use the smartest artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry to power their metasearch advertising.
Collaborations between hospitality technology specialists like Cendyn and platforms such as DerbySoft make it possible for hoteliers to leverage AI to address the complexities in the metasearch marketplace. A combination of strategy specialists and machine learning technology means advertising campaigns are continuously optimized to ensure hotels are moving up the destination search results page and driving incremental upper-funnel demand.
For hotel brands, metasearch sites serve as a marketplace to compete for consumers at a property level. Advertising on them can drive significant web traffic and qualified leads, but managing the sheer amount of data involved in metasearch ad campaigns can be very challenging because of the vast number of online travel agencies (OTAs) operating in the space and the variety of real-time customer inputs metasearch enables. The DerbySoft solution focuses on automation and machine learning to make it possible for hotels to focus on their commercial needs.
SilverWare POS Launches Tableside Ordering and Payment Solution for Hotel Restaurants in Partnership with Maestro
Long-time integration partners Maestro PMS and SilverWare POS will unveil a new, customizable, mobile tableside ordering and payment platform to customers this month during its free touchless guest journey webinar series. The “In-Seat Contactless Platform” goes beyond conventional PMS/POS integration to give guests touch free control over their dining experiences. Restaurant patrons can scan a QR code to upload a digital menu, order meals, split the check, add a tip, and pay via their personal mobile devices or post charges directly to the hotel room.
All transactional data is shared between the hotel’s SilverWare point of sale and Maestro property management systems, enabling managers to view and track guest spend, identify meal preferences, load and redeem gift cards, apply discounts, and manage loyalty points easily with no additional hardware or mobile app required.
Hospitality Communications and Operations Platform Beekeeper Secures $10 Million Funding Extension
Beekeeper, which offers a communication and operations platform designed specifically for frontline workers in hospitality and other industries, has secured a $10 million extension on its series B funding round, bringing the total to $60 million. The extension was led by Chicago-based Energize Ventures, with investment from HighSage Ventures, SwissCanto, Thayer, Swisscom, Investiere, Alpana Ventures, and Swiss Post.
The funding comes as companies across all sectors of the economy, particularly hospitality, have embraced digital collaboration and communication tools in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new reality in which people must cope has been particularly impactful for frontline workers, including those at hotels.
How Digital Checklists and Communications Elevate Hotel Service Standards and the Guest Experience
According to findings from the J.D. Power 2020 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) StudySM released last week, meeting guest expectations for cleanliness and proactively communicating with guests prior to arrival continue to be critical drivers of guest satisfaction. But before we can expect to have happy guests, we need to have happy employees who are willing to go back to work … learn all new operating procedures … do more with less … and put themselves at risk. Yes, guest communication is important, but it must come on the heels of proactively communicating with employees prior to their return.
Put yourself in your employees’ shoes for a moment. The hotel is reopening. No, it’s remaining closed. Wait … it’s reopening again … tentatively. Spikes in COVID-19 are shifting as the epicenter of the virus keeps moving. This economic roller coaster is wreaking havoc with employees’ emotions and their livelihoods, and it’s making them confused, stressed, and maybe even a bit angry. The only way to keep your teams apprised of what is happening day to day — or hour by hour — and motivated to work amidst this new normal, is through digital communications.
Spotlight Interview: Alex Alt, General Manager of Oracle Hospitality
Alex Alt was appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Oracle Hospitality Global Business Unit last November. He previously spent most of his professional career in travel and hospitality, working for owners, operators and service providers. “I appreciate the unique perspective that each brings to this complex industry ecosystem,” he says. His career in hospitality started in 2006, when he joined Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, a luxury operator of residential-style hotels. There he led a team that doubled the size of the portfolio and helped orchestrate the sale of the business. He went on to lead the hospitality software business at Sabre. As President of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, he was responsible for leading and growing the business unit. He then moved to the world of sports, serving as President and CEO of Stack Sports. There he helped advance the company’s position as the market leader in sports registration, performance technology and payments. “I’m delighted to be back in the hospitality industry again,” he says.
More Hotels Are Using the MAPP Report from myDigitalOffice to Make Data-driven Decisions During the Market Recovery
myDigitalOffice, the information management and back-office automation platform for hotels, recently launched the MAPP report (Market Analytics, Pace, and Performance), a free data analytics tool that enables hoteliers to identify forward-looking bookings pace and performance trends across their hotels and their respective markets, and visualize market recovery in real-time.
In a matter of weeks, this free resource has garnered the attention of nearly 200 groups, representing over 15,000 hotels worldwide.
”The speed at which our industry is adopting this tool has far exceeded our expectations,” said Ali Moloo, founder and CEO of myDigitalOffice. “It validates our own, and our customers’ beliefs in the value and mission of the MAPP report.”
Since the fallout from COVID-19 began to unfold in North America, myDigitalOffice’s globally dispersed team collaborated to develop and deliver these reporting capabilities to help accelerate market recovery and support the continuity of the hospitality industry.
Hotel Technology News, published by Starfleet Media, is the hospitality industry’s premier source of information and insights related to technology innovation at top-performing hotels.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.
© 2020 Hotel News Resource